Thomas P. Campbell, director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has named Stephen C. Pinson curator of the museum’s photography department, effective November 2. Pinson has served as the Robert B. Menschel Curator of Photography and as the Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Assistant Director for Art, Prints and Photographs at the New York Public Library since 2005. There, he oversaw the care of the more than 500,000 works in the NYPL’s collection and managed the department’s acquisitions and exhibitions. During his tenure, the NYPL added nearly 6,000 photographs, including works by Diane Arbus, Roy Colmer, Zoe Leonard, and Laurie Simmons.
Pinson holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Texas at Austin and Harvard University, respectively. His expertise encompasses both photography and printmaking, with a focus on Louis Daguerre and early photography. In 2013 Pinson was one of five international scholars invited to St. Petersburg by the Mellon Foundation, the State Hermitage Museum, and the American Institute for Conservation for the purpose of documenting and discussing the daguerreotype triptych that Daguerre presented Tsar Nicholas I in 1839.
Campbell said in a statement, “I am delighted to welcome Stephen Pinson to the Met. Stephen comes to the museum with an impressive background of scholarly achievement in the history of 19th-century photography. He will be a strong addition to the department of photographs.”
Head photography curator Jeff Rosenheim added in the same release,
“As the department focuses its activities on building the collection further and organizing dynamic exhibitions drawn from our own and the world’s holdings, Stephen joins us at a time in which his past success in acquisitions and exhibitions will be of great benefit to the museum. We are excited to welcome to our curatorial team someone who is not only an expert in the field of 19th-century photography, but who also demonstrates a strong interest in the entire history of the medium.”
In his new position, Pinson will work with Rosenheim and other departmental curators at both the 5th Avenue and forthcoming Met Breuer locations to expand the Met’s photography collection and organize exhibitions, with a special focus on the 19th century. Pinson will also be in charge of building the photography department’s Joyce F. Menschel Photography Library.